Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Cloud Anthem

Until we are clouds that tear like bread but 
mend like bones. Until we weave each other
Like silk sheets shrouding mountains, or bear
gales that shear us. Until we soften our hard
edges, free to become any shape imaginable:
a rose or an angel crafted by the breeze like
papier-mache or a lion or dragon like marble
chiseled by gusts. Until we scatter ourselves –
pebbles of grey puffs, but then band together
like stringed pearls. Until we learn to listen to
each other, as thunderous as opera or as soft
as a showered lullaby. Until we truly treasure
the sunset, lavish it in mauve, rust, and rose.
Until we have the courage to vanish like sails
into the horizon, or at peace, anchored still.
Until we move without any measure, as vast
as continents or as petite as islands, floating
in an abyss of virtual blue we belong to. Until
we danced tango with the moon and comfort
the jealous stars, falling. Until we care enough
for the earth to bless it as morning fog. Until
we realize we're muddy as puddles, pristine
as lakes not yet clouds. Until we remember
we are born from rivers and dewdrops. Until
we are at ease to dissolve as wispy showers,
not always needing to clash like godly yells
of thunder. Until we believe lightning roots
are not our right to the ground. Though we
collude into storms that ravage, we can also
sprinkle ourselves like memories. Until we
tame the riot of our tornadoes, settle down
into a soft drizzle, into a daydream. Though
we may curse with hail, we can absolve with
snowflakes. We can die valiant as rainbows,
and hold light in our lucid bodies like blood.
We can decide to move boundlessly, without
creed or desire. Until we are clouds meshed
within cloud sharing a kingdom with no king,
a city with no walls, a country with no name,
a nation without any borders or claim. Until
we abide as one together in one single sky.

--Richard Blanco (1968- ), Cuban-American LGBTQ poet and teacher, from Poems of Resistance, Poems of Hope, edited by Naoli Shihab Nye, 2020.

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